New poll indicates stronger Democratic showing in top Arkansas races, including Mark Pryor lead | Arkansas Blog

New poll indicates stronger Democratic showing in top Arkansas races, including Mark Pryor lead

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BETTER NEWS: A new poll was more upbeat for Democratic candidates than a sounding reported earlier in the week.
  • BETTER NEWS: A new poll was more upbeat for Democratic candidates than a sounding reported earlier in the week.
New polling by Suffolk University for USA Today offers a better outlook for Arkansas Democrats in the November election, from top-of-the-ticket races to several farther down the ballot. The poll has Democrat Mark Pryor ahead two points of Republican Tom Cotton in the race for U.S. Senate and Democrat Mike Ross  two points behind Republican Asa Hutchinson in the race for governor. Cotton and Hutchinson led by wider margins in a recent Public Policy poll.

The Suffolk/USA Today poll sampled 500 likely voters Sept. 20-23. The pollsters found a "purple" rather than  red state:

U.S. SENATE

Mark Pryor (D) 45
Tom Cotton (R) 43

GOVERNOR



Asa Hutchinson (R) 43
Mike Ross (D) 41

LT. GOVERNOR

John Burkhalter (D) 42
Tim Griffin (R) 35

SECRETARY OF STATE

Mark Martin (R) 35
Susan Inman (D) 34

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Nate Steel (D) 36
Leslie Rutledge (R) 36

STATEWIDE ALCOHOL SALES*

For 45
Against 40

*This ballot issue is described by the pollster as, among others, "eliminating dry counties."

OTHER TOPICS

Voters split 42-42 in preference for partisan control of Congress. Mike Huckabee easily led a Republican presidential primary matchup for 2016 — unless Mitt Romney is included. Romney led Huckabee 33-29.

Hillary Clinton had 70 percent support on the Democratic side.

Also: 55 percent favored an increase in the minimum wage. The respondents split 56-27 percent in favor of the amendment with ethics, term limit and legislative pay components. The ballot title refers to "setting term limits," so respondents may have been misled, because the measure actually weakens term limits. But voters may be misled, too.

The margin of error is 4.4 percent.

Here's the summary.

And you can go here for all the details.

Republicans will say they are undersampled. Poll shows the 500 broke down this way: 177 Democrats, 155 Republicans, 138 unaffiliated, 26 Libertarian, 4 Green. Most surveys show unaffiliated trend Republican so I'm not ready to instantly say this constitutes a poor sample. Arkansas is moving Republican, though many who vote that way aren't necessarily ready to adopt the label as Democrats of long standing. The poll is about 35 percent Democratic, which sounds about right as a hard-core number.

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